A relation between two secrets, known in the literature as nondeducibility , was originally introduced by Sutherland. We extend it to a relation between sets of secrets that we call independence . This paper proposes a formal logical system for the independence relation, proves the completeness of the system with respect to a semantics of secrets, and shows that all axioms of the system are logically independent.
Truth in the Making represents a sophisticated effort to map the complex relations between human knowledge and creative power, as reflected across more than half a millennium of philosophical enquiry. Showing the intimacy of this problematic to the work of Nicholas of Cusa, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Vico and David Lachterman, the book reveals how questions about creation apparently diluted by secularism in fact retain much of their potency today. If science could counterfeit or synthesize nature precisely from (...) its smallest nuts and bolts, as Descartes and Hobbes implied and as modern science increasingly suggests, would it create an identical world to that we live in now Robert C. Miner offers a precise genealogy of modern thought on truth and creation: from medieval theology's identification of human creativity with divine initiative to the radical Leibnizian contention that human ideas are 'not little copies of God's', and may at once exceed mimesis and produce things new, unpredictable and unseen. He considers how the theological importance given to creation interacts historically with the secularisation and instrumentalisation of modes of discovery and method, and asks how knowledge is understood between different disciplines, from the allegorical discipline of poetry to the constructible field of mathematics. The book is an eloquent reminder of the ways in which theology continues to fling a wild card at philosophical understandings of reality, countering theories of metaphysical equivalence of the 'real' and 'artificial' with theologies in which human making is always fallible, and strives only for approximate participation in divine truth. As a strenuous and informative breakdown of leading theories of knowledge, Truth in the Making shows the continuing influence of theological questions upon philosophical, scientific and aesthetic disciplines, whilst raising topical questions about the ultimate nature of our reality and our freedom to modify and define it. (shrink)
This paper discusses the materialist views of Margaret Cavendish, focusing on the relationships between her views and those of two of her contemporaries, Thomas Hobbes and Henry More. It argues for two main claims. First, Cavendish's views sit, often rather neatly, between those of Hobbes and More. She agreed with Hobbes on some issues and More on others, while carving out a distinctive alternative view. Secondly, the exchange between Hobbes, More, and Cavendish illustrates a more (...) general puzzle about just what divided materialists from their opponents. Seemingly straightforward disagreements about whether incorporeal substances exist turn out to be more complex ones in which the nature of those things is disputed at the same time as their existence. (shrink)
'At the beginning, with ThomasMore, utopia sets out an agenda for the modern world. Today, five hundred years later, what are the uses of utopia?' (Kumar, 1991, p. 85). This paper provides an answer to this question by examining More's utopian 'method' which, it is suggested, offers a model way of thinking imaginatively and prospectively about the form and content of social reform in general and educational change in particular.
Utopía, la posibilidad de la imposibilidad: una lectura desde Thomas More, es un trabajo que muestra, por un lado, la vitalidad de la utopía; por otro lado se destaca su grado de necesidad en la sociedad contemporánea. La Utopía de Thomas More se presenta como un paradigma del pensamiento utópico, y del influjo que éste ejerce en las diferentes sociedades. Además, ésta se yergue como el epítome de toda posibilidad de visualizar un mejor mundo, es la máxima expresión (...) de la simbología del Renacimiento y es la obra cumbre del humanismo de aquel período histórico. La utopía no es la simple imposibilidad que sugiere su construcción semántica. Utopía es la posibilidad de construir el mejor mundo posible, de volver a ubicar en su perspectiva correcta la esperanza y toda la capacidad simbólica del género humano. (shrink)
This paper is an engagement with Equality by John Baker, Kathleen Lynch, Judy Walsh and Sara Cantillon. It identifies a dilemma for educational egalitarians, which arises within their theory of equality, arguing that sometimes there may be a conflict between advancing equality of opportunity and providing equality of respect and recognition, and equality of love care and solidarity. It argues that the latter values may have more weight in deciding what to do than traditional educational egalitarians have usually (...) thought. (shrink)
According to intellectualism, what a person knows is solely a function of the evidential features of the person's situation. Anti-intellectualism is the view that what a person knows is more than simply a function of the evidential features of the person's situation. Jason Stanley (2005) argues that, in addition to “traditional factors,” our ordinary practice of knowledge ascription is sensitive to the practical facts of a subject's situation. In this paper, we investigate this question empirically. Our results indicate that (...) Stanley's assumptions about knowledge ascriptions do not reflect our ordinary practices in some paradigmatic cases. If our data generalize, then arguments for anti-intellectualism that rely on ordinary knowledge ascriptions fail: the case for anti-intellectualism cannot depend on our ordinary practices of knowledge ascription. (shrink)
Kant’s example of lying to the murderer at the door has been a cherished source of scorn for thinkers with little sympathy for Kant’s philosophy and a source of deep puzzlement for those more favorably inclined. The problem is that Kant seems to say that it’s always wrong to lie – even if necessary to prevent a murderer from reaching his victim – and that if one does lie, one becomes partially responsible for the killing of the victim. If (...) this is correct, then Kant’s account seems not only to require us to respect the murderer more than the victim, but also that we somehow can become responsible for the consequences that ultimately result from someone else’s wrongdoing. After World War II our spontaneous negative reaction to this apparently absurd line of argument is brought out even more starkly by making the murderer at the door a Nazi officer looking for Jews hidden in people’s homes. This paper argues that Kant’s discussion of lying to the murderer at the door has been seriously misinterpreted. The suggested root of the problem is that the Doctrine of Right has been given insufficient attention in Kant interpretation. It is in this work we find many of the arguments needed to understand Kant’s analysis of lying to the murderer in “On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy”. When we interpret this essay in light of Kant’s discussion in the Doctrine of Right, we can make sense of why lying to the murderer isn’t to wrong the murderer, why we nevertheless become responsible for the consequences of the lie and why choosing to lie to do wrong ‘in the highest degree’. Finally, the Doctrine of Right account of rightful relations makes it possible for us to analyze the example when we make the murderer at the door a Nazi officer. (shrink)
Postmodernists claim that there is no truth. However, the statement 'there is no truth' is self-contradictory. This essay shows the following: One cannot state the idea 'there is no truth' universally without creating a paradox. In contrast, the statement 'there is truth' does not produce such a paradox. Therefore, it is more logical that truth exists.
This paper discusses an important puzzle about the semantics of indicative conditionals and deontic necessity modals (should, ought, etc.): the Miner Puzzle (Parfit, ms; Kolodny and MacFarlane, J Philos 107:115–143, 2010). Rejecting modus ponens for the indicative conditional, as others have proposed, seems to solve a version of the puzzle, but is actually orthogonal to the puzzle itself. In fact, I prove that the puzzle arises for a variety of sophisticated analyses of the truth-conditions of indicative conditionals. A comprehensive (...) solution requires rethinking the relationship between relevant information (what we know) and practical rankings of possibilities and actions (what to do). I argue that (i) relevant information determines whether considerations of value may be treated as reasons for actions that realize them and against actions that don’t, (ii) incorporating this normative fact requires a revision of the standard ordering semantics for weak (but not for strong) deontic necessity modals, and (iii) an off-the-shelf semantics for weak deontic necessity modals, due to von Fintel and Iatridou, which distinguishes “basic” and “higher-order” ordering sources, and interprets weak deontic necessity modals relative to both, is well-suited to this task. The prominence of normative considerations in our proposal suggests a more general methodological lesson: formal semantic analysis of natural language modals expressing normative concepts demands that close attention be paid to the nature of the underlying normative phenomena. (shrink)
Preprinted in God and the Problem of Evil(Blackwell 2001), ed. William Rowe. Many people deny that evil makes belief in atheism more reasonable for us than belief in theism. After all, they say, the grounds for belief in God are much better than the evidence for atheism, including the evidence provided by evil. We will not join their ranks on this occasion. Rather, we wish to consider the proposition that, setting aside grounds for belief in God and relying only (...) on the background knowledge shared in common by nontheists and theists, evil makes belief in atheism more reasonable for us than belief in theism. Our aim is to argue against this proposition. We recognize that in doing so, we face a formidable challenge. It’s one thing to say that evil presents a reason for atheism that is, ultimately, overridden by arguments for theism. It’s another to say that it doesn’t so much as provide us with a reason for atheism in the first place. In order to make this latter claim seem initially more plausible, consider the apparent design of the mammalian eye or the apparent fine-tuning of the universe to support life. These are often proposed as reasons to believe in theism. Critics commonly argue not merely that these supposed reasons for theism are overridden by arguments for atheism but rather that they aren’t good reasons for theism in the first place. Our parallel proposal with respect to evil and atheism is, initially at least, no less plausible than this proposal with respect to apparent design and theism. (shrink)
P. J. E. Kail's Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy is an excellent book, consisting—like Hume's Treatise itself—of three excellent parts. I will comment on one central aspect of its second part: its explanation of the source of the second thoughts that Hume famously expressed, with a frustrating lack of specificity, about his own initial discussion of personal identity in the Treatise.As is well known, Hume holds in the section "Of personal identity" (T 1.4.6) that a self, mind, or person (...) is "nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions" (T 184.108.40.206; SBN 252) and, more specifically, a "system of different perceptions or different existences link'd together by the relation of cause and .. (shrink)
In assessing the veridicality of utterances, we normally seem to assess the satisfaction of conditions that the speaker had been concerned to get right in making the utterance. However, the debate about assessor-relativism about epistemic modals, predicates of taste, gradable adjectives and conditionals has been largely driven by cases in which seemingly felicitous assessments of utterances are insensitive to aspects of the context of utterance that were highly relevant to the speaker’s choice of words. In this paper, we offer an (...) explanation of why certain locutions invite insensitive assessments, focusing primarily on ’tasty’ and ’might’. We spell out some reasons why felicitous insensitive assessments are puzzling and argue briefly that recent attempts to accommodate such assessments (including attempts by John MacFarlane, Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies) all fail to provide more than hints at a solution to the puzzle. In the main part of the paper, we develop an account of felicitous insensitive assessments by identifying a number of pragmatic factors that influence the felicity of assessments. Before closing, we argue that the role of these factors extend beyond cases considered in the debate about assessor-relativism and fit comfortably with standard contextualist analyses of the relevant locutions. (shrink)
In response to the difficulty of teaching an increasingly large number of students who are ill prepared for the sort of abstract thinking and well-structured essay writing that are essential to the field of Philosophy, I have discovered a five-step method for teaching students in my Philosophy and Social Ethics course how to examine any ethical issue and write well-structured essays discussing the issue. Just as important, students are now required to take more responsibility for the learning process which, (...) I believe, is an appropriate goal for a course in Ethics. (shrink)
T. M. Scanlon has cited the value of friendship in arguing against a ‘teleological’ view of value which says that value inheres only in states of affairs and demands only that we promote it. This article argues that, whatever the teleological view's final merits, the case against it cannot be made on the basis of friendship. The view can capture Scanlon's claims about friendship if it holds, as it can consistently with its basic ideas, that (i) friendship is a higher-level (...) good consisting in appropriate attitudes to other goods and evils in a friend's life, (ii) these goods and evils have agent-relative value, i.e. more value than similar states of strangers, and (iii) the attitudes constituting friendship have less value than their objects. Given these independently plausible claims, the teleological view can agree with Scanlon that, e.g., it is wrong to betray a friend in order to promote more friendships among other people. (Published Online August 21 2006). (shrink)
Cappelen and Hawthorne’s Relativism and Monadic Truth (2009) offers an extended defense of a thesis they call simplicity, which, in brief, holds that propositions are true or false simpliciter. Propositions are cast in their traditional roles as the contents of assertions, and as the semantic values of declarative sentences in contexts. Simplicity stands in sharp contrast to forms of relativism including, for instance, a form that hold that our claims are true or false only relative to a judge. This applies (...) especially to claims of taste, which come out true or false only relative to the judge who finds things tasty (e.g. Glanzberg 2007, Lasersohn 2005). But simplicity also rejects the more widespread temporalist view that propositions are true or false only relative to a time, and it rejects the even more widely held view that propositions are true or false only relative to a world. One reason that has been advanced for temporalism, e.g. by Kaplan (1989), is that our languages seem to contain non-trivial temporal operators. Hence, the argument goes, the semantic values of sentences need to be temporally neutral, i.e. vary for truth or falsehood with time. The same goes for possible worlds and modal operators. Hence, Kaplan and many others think of the semantic values of sentences as sets of world-time pairs. It has been tempting to apply this sort of argument much more widely, to see the semantic values of sentences as varying not just with world and time, but perhaps with location and other parameters as well. Kaplan.. (shrink)
The creation-evolution “controversy” has been with us for more than a century. Here I argue that merely teaching more science will probably not improve the situation; we need to understand the controversy as part of a broader problem with public acceptance of pseudoscience, and respond by teaching how science works as a method. Critical thinking is difficult to teach, but educators can rely on increasing evidence from neurobiology about how the brain learns, or fails to.
In The Right and the Good, W. D. Ross commits himself to the view that, in addition to being distinct and defeasible, some prima facie duties are more binding than others. David McNaughton has argued that there appears to be no way of making sense of this claim that is both coherent and consistent with Ross's overall picture. I offer an alternative way of understanding Ross's remarks about the comparative stringency of prima facie duties, which, in addition to being (...) compatible with his view as presented in the text, provides us with a coherent, and indeed plausible, account of what it means for some duties to be more binding than others. (shrink)
Recently, a number of philosophers have advanced a surprising conclusion: people's judgments about whether an agent brought about an outcome intentionally are pervasively influenced by normative considerations. In this paper, we investigate the ‘Chairman case’, an influential case from this literature and disagree with this conclusion. Using a statistical method called structural path modeling, we show that people's attributions of intentional action to an agent are driven not by normative assessments, but rather by attributions of underlying values and characterological dispositions (...) to the agent. In a second study, we examined people's judgments about what they think drives asymmetric intuitions in the Chairman case and found that people are highly inaccurate in identifying which features of the case their intuitions track. In the final part of the paper, we discuss how the statistical methods used in this study can help philosophers with the critical features problem, the problem of figuring out which among the myriad features present in hypothetical cases are the critical ones that our intuitions are responsive to. We show how the methods used in this study have some advantages over both armchair methods used by traditional philosophers and survey methods used by experimental philosophers. (shrink)
The so-called evolution wars (Futuyma 1995; Pigliucci 2002) between the scientific understanding of the history of life on earth and various religiously inspired forms of cre- ationism are more than ever at the forefront of the broader ‘‘science wars,’’ themselves a part of the even more encom- passing ‘‘cultural wars.’’ With all these conflicts going on, and at a time when a potentially historical case on the teach- ing of Intelligent Design (ID) in public schools is being de- (...) bated in Pennsylvania, it may be useful to consider a number of books that have come out recently to help scientists and the public at large to understand what all the fuss is about. (shrink)
I have argued that to say qualia are epiphenomenal is to say a world without qualia would be physically identical to a world with qualia. Dan Cavedon-Taylor has offered an alternative interpretation of the commitments of qualia epiphenomenalism according to which qualia cause beliefs and those beliefs can and do cause changes to the physical world. I argue that neither of these options works for the qualia epiphenomenalist and thus that theory faces far more serious difficulties than has previously (...) been recognized. (shrink)
In Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence, I argued that coming into existence is always a harm and that procreation is wrong. In this paper, I respond to those of my critics to whom I have not previously responded. More specifically, I engage the objections of Tim Bayne, Ben Bradley, Campbell Brown, David DeGrazia, Elizabeth Harman, Chris Kaposy, Joseph Packer and Saul Smilansky.
In this paper I highlight certain logical and metaphysical issues which arise in the characterisation of functionalism-in particular its ready coherence with a physicalist ontology, its structuralism and the impredicativity of functionalist specifications. I then utilise these points in an attempt to demonstrate fatal flaws in the functionalist programme. I argue that the brand of functionalism inspired by David Lewis fails to accommodate multiple realisability though such accommodation was vaunted as a key improvement over the identity theory. More standard (...) accounts of functionalism allow, by contrast, for far too much multiple realisability. Specifically, functionalist structures will be massively reduplicated in the human brain; so functionalism yields the absurd consequence that each human harbours large numbers of minds and exemplifies virtually all mental states. (shrink)
This paper traces a rather peculiar debate between William Ockham, Walter Chatton, and Robert Holcot over whether it is possible for God to know more than he knows. Although the debate specifically addresses a theological question about divine knowledge, the central issue at stake in it is a purely philosophical question about the nature and ontological status of propositions. The theories of propositions that emerge from the discussion appear deeply puzzling, however. My aim in this paper is to show (...) that there is a way of making sense of these views (and, by implication, of much of what is puzzling about medieval theories of propositions). The key, I argue, lies in getting clear about the precise theoretical roles these thinkers assign to propositions in their accounts of propositional attitudes. (shrink)
This article further explains and develops a recent, comprehensive semantic naturalization theory, namely the interactive indexing (II) theory as described in my 2008 Minds and Machines article Semantic Naturalization via Interactive Perceptual Causality (Vol. 18, pp. 527–546). Folk views postulate a concrete intentional relation between cognitive states and the worldly states they are about. The II theory eliminates any such concrete intentionality, replacing it with purely causal relations based on the interactive theory of perception. But intentionality is preserved via purely (...) abstract propositions about the world that index, or correlate with, appropriate cognitive states. Further reasons as to why intentionality must be abstract are provided, along with more details of an II-style account of representation, language use and propositional attitudes. All cognitive representation is explained in terms of classification or sorting dispositions indexed by appropriate propositions. The theory is also related to Fodor’s representational theory of mind, with some surprisingly close parallels being found in spite of the purely dispositional basis of the II theory. In particular, Fodor’s insistence that thinking about an item cannot be reduced to sorting dispositions is supported via a novel two-level account of cognition—upper level propositional attitudes involve significant intermediate processing of a broadly normative epistemic kind prior to the formation of sorting dispositions. To conclude, the weak intentional realism of the II theory—which makes intentional descriptions of the world dispensable—is related to Dennett’s ‘intentional stance’ view, and distinguished from strong (indispensable) intentional realist views. II-style dispositions are also defended. (shrink)
Ned Markosian argues (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76:213-228, 1998a; Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82:332-340, 2004a, The Monist 87:405-428, 2004b) that simples are ‘maximally continuous’ entities. This leads him to conclude that there could be non-particular ‘stuff’ in addition to things. I first show how an ensuing debate on this issue McDaniel (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81(2):265-275, 2003); Markosian (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82:332-340, 2004a) ended in deadlock. I attempt to break the deadlock. Markosian’s view entails stuff-thing coincidence, which I show (...) is just as problematic as the more oft-discussed thing-thing coincidence. Also, the view entails that every particular is only contingently so. If there is a world W like our own, but with ether, then there would be only one object in W. But, since merely adding ether to a world does not destroy the entities in it, then W contains counterparts of all the entities in the actual world—they just are not things. Hence, if simples are maximally continuous, then every actual particular is only contingently so. This in turn entails the following disjunction: (i) identity is contingent or intransitive, or (ii) there are no things at all in the actual world, or (iii) the distinction between stuff and things is one without a difference. I recommend that we reject this stuff-thing dualism. (shrink)
The world is riddled with human suffering, poverty, and destitution. In the face of this moral tragedy, the least that the global wealthy can do is try to support aid programs aimed at relieving the plight of the very poor. Many political leaders, pop stars, and religious personalities have realized this, and routinely urge us to be more sensitive to the conditions of the distant needy. Giving aid thus seems to be one of the most important moral imperatives of (...) our time. (Published: 22 June 2011) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 4 , No. 2, 2011, pp. 125-134. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v4i2.7220. (shrink)
For many of the authors in this volume, this is the second attempt to explore what McCarthy and Hayes (1969) ﬁrst called the “Frame Problem”. Since the ﬁrst compendium (Pylyshyn, 1987), nicely summarized here by Ronald Loui, there have been several conferences and books on the topic. Their goals range from providing a clariﬁcation of the problem by breaking it down into subproblems (and sometimes declaring the hard subproblems to not be the_ real_ Frame Problem), to providing formal “solutions” to (...) certain aspects of the problem. But more often the message has been that the problem is not solvable except in a piecemeal way in special circumstances by some sort of heuristic approximations. It has sometimes also been said that solving the Frame Problem is not only an unachievable goal, but it is also an unnecessary one since_ humans_ do not solve it either; we simply get along as best we can and deal with the problem of planning in ways that, to use Dennett’s phrase, is “good enough for government work”. (shrink)
Telerobotically operated and semiautonomous machines have become a major component in the arsenals of industrial nations around the world. By the year 2015 the United States military plans to have one-third of their combat aircraft and ground vehicles robotically controlled. Although there are many reasons for the use of robots on the battlefield, perhaps one of the most interesting assertions are that these machines, if properly designed and used, will result in a more just and ethical implementation of warfare. (...) This paper will focus on these claims by looking at what has been discovered about the capability of humans to behave ethically on the battlefield, and then comparing those findings with the claims made by robotics researchers that their machines are able to behave more ethically on the battlefield than human soldiers. Throughout the paper we will explore the philosophical critique of this claim and also look at how the robots of today are impacting our ability to fight wars in a just manner. (shrink)
The adequacy of currently popular accounts of the genetic basis for psychological altruism, including inclusive fitness (kin selection), reciprocal altruism, sociality, and group selection, is questioned. Problems exist both with the evidence cited as supporting these accounts and with the relevance of the accounts to what is being explained. Based on the empathy-altruism hypothesis, a more plausible account is proposed: generalized parental nurturance. It is suggested that four evolutionary developments combined to provide a genetic basis for psychological altruism. First (...) is the evolution in mammals of parental nurturance. Second is the evolution in humans (and possibly a few other species) of the ability to see others as sentient, intentional agents and, thereby, to recognize other's needs, even subtle ones. Third is the evolution in humans of tender, empathic emotions as an important component of parental nurturance. Fourth is the evolution in humans of cognitive capacities that make it possible to generalize tender, empathic feelings and, thereby, altruism beyond offspring. (shrink)
This paper examines the libertarian account of free choice advanced by Robert Kane in his recent book, The Significance of Free Will. First a rather simple libertarian view is considered, and an objection is raised against it the view fails to provide for any greater degree of agent-control than what could be available in a deterministic world. The basic differences between this simple view and Kane's account are the requirements, on the latter, of efforts of will and of an agent's (...) wanting more to do a certain thing than he wants to do anything else. It is argued here that neither of these features yields any improvement over the simple libertarian view; neither helps to meet the objection that was raised against the simple view. Finally, it is suggested that a modest defense of that view might be available. (shrink)
Among the most well-known accounts of events is Jaegwon Kim’s exemplification theory, which identifies each event with a property exemplification (often modeled as an “ordered triple” of an entity, property type, and time). Two of the most influential rival event theorists (Lawrence Lombard and Jonathan Bennett) have urged rejecting exemplificationism on the basis of the charge that it ultimately conflates events with facts [Lombard (1986): Events: A Metaphysical Study. Routledge & Kegan Paul; Bennett (1988):Events and their Names. Hackett Publishing (...) Company]. In response, I offer a detailed examination of Lombard and Bennett’s arguments that exemplificationism undermines the event/fact distinction. I then develop and defend a modified version of Kim’s account that overcomes this objection, and so constitutes a more plausible exemplification theory of events. (shrink)
Individualism leading to more consumerism seems to be a bit of truism nowadays in the media. The USA is particularly indicted for being too individualistic and consumerist. Past research has mostly indicated a positive relationship between the two. However, past research has not suggested a negative association between individualism and consumerism. This paper offers support for such a negative relationship by showing that an individual’s ethical values can temper the consumerist nature of individualists. Data were collected in the USA (...) and Taiwan. Structural equation models demonstrate that our hypothesized model fits our data well. A key result over the global sample is the stability of the linear path from individualism to work ethic to consumer ethic to consumerism. The two-nation comparison also supports differences in how Taiwanese and Americans differ in their belief that consumption benefits society. (shrink)
No one has explored the implications of cognitive theories and findings about religion for understanding its history with any more enthusiasm or insight than Luther Martin. Although my focus here is not historical, I assume that I will be employing cognitive tools in ways that he finds congenial. In the paper’s first section, I will make some general comments about standard comparisons of science and religion and criticize one strategy for making peace between them. In the second section of (...) the paper, I will delineate two cognitive criteria for comparing science, religion, theology, and commonsense explanations. Finally, in the third section, I will suggest that such a comparison supplies grounds for thinking that our longstanding interest in the comparison of science and religion is, oddly, somewhat misbegotten from a cognitive perspective. (shrink)
(2011). ‘What Is, Is More than It Is’: Adorno and Heidegger on the Priority of Possibility. International Journal of Philosophical Studies: Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 31-57. doi: 10.1080/09672559.2011.539357.
The debate over free will has pittedlibertarian insistence on open alternativesagainst the compatibilist view that authenticcommitments can preserve free will in adetermined world. A second schism in the freewill debate sets rationalist belief in thecentrality of reason against nonrationalistswho regard reason as inessential or even animpediment to free will. By looking deeperinto what motivates each of these perspectivesit is possible to find common ground thataccommodates insights from all those competingviews. The resulting metacompatibilist view offree will bridges some of the differencesbetween (...) compatibilists and incompatibilists aswell as between rationalists andnonrationalists, and results in a free willtheory that is both more philosophicallyinclusive and more firmly connected tocontemporary research in psychology andbiology. (shrink)
This article addresses the question of whether God's existence would be obvious to everyone if God performed more miracles. I conclude that it would not be so. I look at cases where people have been confronted with what they believe to be miracles and have either not come to believe in God, or have come to intellectual belief in God but declined to follow him. God's existence could be made undeniable not by spectacular signs, but only by God impressing (...) his existence upon us in a direct, non-propositional way. (shrink)
Millican (Mind 113(451):437–476, 2004) claims to have detected ‘the one fatal flaw in Anselm’s ontological argument.’ I argue that there is more than one important flaw in the position defended in Millican (Mind 113(451):437–476, 2004). First, Millican’s reconstruction of Anselm’s argument does serious violence to the original text. Second, Millican’s generalised objection fails to diagnose any flaw in a vast range of ontological arguments. Third, there are independent reasons for thinking that Millican’s generalised objection is unpersuasive.
The derivation of the generally held Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), roughly you are morally responsible only if you could do otherwise, from an even more generally held moral principle, K (for Kant), that roughly speaking ought implies can, has recently been the focus of significant debate. In this paper I shall argue that by focusing on PAP interpreted in terms of commissions alone an alternative derivation of PAP interpreted in terms of omissions is being overlooked. The advantage of (...) the new derivation is that it avoids many of the criticisms directed at the original derivation. Key Words: alternative possibilities blameworthiness moral responsibility omissions. (shrink)
In this paper I try to establish a relation between some fundamental concepts of Gadamerian philosophy—namely, the concepts of play, of transmutation into form, and of increase in being—and the concept of truth. The concept of play allows one to conceive the extra-methodical character of truth as an objectivity radically different from that of science: the objectivity of what happens and is thus unrepeatable, absolutely independent of any methodical mastery; the concept of transmutation into form is a theorization of the (...) effectual character of truth; the concept of increase in being shows its nonredundant character, i.e., the idea that truth is more than reality. Truth is eventually conceived as a “transformational concept,” in which ontology, knowledge, and ethics are indissolubly interconnected. (shrink)